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American Apparel Appoints Its First Female Board Member

Given its history, you might not be surprised to learn that American Apparel has never had a woman on its board. That changed yesterday when the company appointed Colleen Brown as its first-ever director. Brown — formerly the CEO of Fisher Communications, a television and radio conglomerate — is one of four new members hired to the company's board, The Business of Fashion reports. The new appointments are part of the company's agreement with Standard General, whereby Dov Charney is employed as a "strategic consultant." By the way, guys, how's that misconduct investigation going?

Dozens of NYPD Detectives Searching for 5 Kids Who Might Have Planted Those White Flags on the Brooklyn Bridge

How many detectives does it take to catch a group of flag-planting miscreants? About three dozen, the NYPD hopes. With members of its homicide, counter-terrorism, and intelligence units working the case, the department has identified some prime suspects in the great Brooklyn Bridge white-flag switch of 2014. But right now they're known only by nicknames, and the NYPD dream team doesn't sound very confident that these are even their perps. “We have no good images of these guys on cameras ... None of the footage captures the perpetrators of this crime,” a police source told the New York Post.


The Worst-Case Scenario for Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act was always big. It was always complicated. It was always inelegant. But it was always meant to be universal, reaching all Americans regardless of their income or political tendencies or hometown. Yet over the past two years, the law has splintered and that goal has been dashed, at least for now. And the greatest risk posed to the A.C.A. by the court decision in Halbig v. Burwell, released this week, is that the law might splinter further.


Air Algerie Flight Crashes in Africa With 116 Aboard [Updated]

In the third major aviation disaster in a week, a commercial flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers went missing last night as it flew over Mali just after 1 a.m. local time, Reuters reports. Air Algerie Flight 5017 was carrying 110 passengers and six crew members. “Air navigation services have lost contact with an Air Algerie plane Thursday flying from Ouagadougou to Algiers, 50 minutes after take-off,” said Swiftair, the Spanish company operating the flight, according to France 24. An “emergency plan” is in effect.

Update: “I can confirm that it has crashed,” an Algerian official told Reuters, although details are still scarce. Nearly half of the passengers were French citizens.


The Scientific Case for Decriminalizing Sex Work

Arguments in favor of decriminalizing prostitution often rely on empathy for sex workers themselves: Activist and journalist Melissa Gira Grant contends, for example, that criminalizing sex work implicitly condones violence against sex workers, who are often afraid to go to the police to report violence and are frequently ignored when they do. Current laws (sex work is illegal in 116 countries) require that sex workers render themselves largely voiceless and invisible — which makes their interests easy to ignore.

But new research suggests that existing legislation against sex work may also be harming society at large — and that decriminalizing sex work could help slow the spread of HIV.


FAA Lifts Ban on U.S. Flights to Israel

After 36 hours, the Federal Aviation Administration announced late on Wednesday night that U.S. airlines can resume flying in and out of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. The no-fly order was issued on Tuesday after a Hamas rocket landed about a mile away from the airport, causing several U.S. carriers to voluntarily suspend service to the airport. Senator Ted Cruz called the ban an "economic boycott on Israel," and without mentioning him by name, the FAA countered the idea that the ban was politically motivated. "The FAA’s primary mission and interest are the protection of people traveling on U.S. airlines," the FAA said in a statement. "The agency will continue to closely monitor the very fluid situation around Ben Gurion Airport and will take additional actions, as necessary." Somewhere in Tel Aviv, Michael Bloomberg is thinking, "I got the flight ban lifted and berated Wolf Blitzer on air. Looks like my work here is done."

NYPD Investigates Another Chokehold Caught on Video

As the city continues to deal with the fallout from the death of Eric Garner, two videos have surfaced that appear to show NYPD officers putting a man in a chokehold, though the move was banned two decades ago. The footage, which was posted on Facebook by East Harlem activist Rev. Kelmy Rodriquez, shows 23-year-old Ronald Johns being arrested at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station on July 14, DNAinfo reports. According to the criminal complaint, Johns was stopped after he entered the station through an exit gate, then refused to show police his identification and "flailed his arms and twisted his body to prevent Officer McGuire from putting handcuffs on him."

Johns was also punched and pepper-sprayed. »

Arizona Execution Lasts 2 Hours, Inmate Was Reportedly ‘Gasping and Snorting’

Over the weekend, a federal appeals court ruled that Joseph Wood could not be executed until Arizona disclosed more information about the drugs that would be used to end his life. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court overruled the stay, and on Wednesday afternoon Wood's execution became the latest controversy in the ongoing debate about whether lethal injections amount to "cruel and unusual punishment." The execution of the 55-year-old convicted murderer began at 1:52 p.m., and he wasn't pronounced dead until 3:49 p.m. Astrid Galván, an Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution, says Wood gasped more than 600 times in the nearly two hours it took him to die, though state officials insist he was just snoring.


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